Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 17 after surgery

As I wrote the title for this post, I realized it looks like it's been a while since we were all huddled in the family room at Methodist University hospital, waiting for the calls from the surgical team for updates on dad. That day, that call, has changed our lives. For those of you who have been pregnant, do remember thinking, "Ugh! I have to wait 17 more days to see my precious baby! 17 days may as well be 17 years!"

For me, these past 17 days have flown by, with everything concerning dad, and everything else seems to drag on in slow motion. I have a feeling that days will be reflected on as fleeting moments until there is some end, or at least (hopefully) a slowing down in this journey. Each moment is precious. As they should be anyway I guess. I've always struggled with balancing living each moment to the fullest and being neglectful of future planning for my intense focus on the present. Living today as if you won't have a tomorrow, carries new weight for me now.

My background is in Rehabilitation Counseling. In my masters program, I focused on dual diagnosis of acquired disabilities and mental health. As I watch my dad, I see things that are not my dad. Little things that prohibit him from driving and being left alone, among other things. I watch constantly to gauge whether or not he is getting worse or better in certain areas and try to keep in mind that the meds may have some impact on his behaviors. At the same time, I know there is still swelling, and he had someone cut in to his brain, move it around, and sew it back up. There's bound to be residual effect from that and only time (and God) will heal his brain.

As the days go by, I worry less and less about these quirks of dad's and focus more on simply spending time with him and letting him see the girls.

The girls love being at the house. The littlest ones are 1 and 2, and though they may not hang around dad like I would want them to, they love cuddling him and giving him hugs and kisses like always. They don't understand the potential gravity of the situation at hand, and I almost envy how they are experiencing the world around them right now. Without having skipped a beat and living full of sass, wonder, and excitement... Just like before everything happened.

One good thing about this GBM is that we always have someone at the house right now. There is no shortage of love and compassion lifting us up and holding our hands through all of this.

Our long time friend, Karen, and her family came by today with some soup and the most ridiculously amazing kale salad. She also played her ukulele for dad and got him to relax a little.

They all joined mom and dad tonight for a symphony performance at Buckman along with Mariam. Dad loves, and needs music. Especially now, when it seems to be the only thing that keeps him turned down a notch.

It rained most of the day today. Leading to plenty of puddles being splashed in and mom finding a huge night crawler for Mia to transport to the grass, which Annabelle referred to as a "little snake" when I asked about her day at bed time.

Dad watched the girls play, entertained guests, ate good food, and listened to good music. He was a little slower today and laid down with his eyes closed more than I have seen these past few days, but I guess that's what happens when you live each moment with as much enthusiasm as dad is right now.

Hildegard and her husband also brought some great classic German food which included one of dad's favorite things... rotkraut. Yum!!

Overall, it was a good day. I don't know about dad... But I already miss Katherine and Martin being home and can't wait for Marky and Wendy to come back.

Thanks for your continued prayer and support. Please don't let up, they are still very much needed! And pray for lots of snow tomorrow night! Lol.

(Because I only have video of Karen playing, I'll post Mia and Annabelle playing in the rain as today's picture)

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